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Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall: Perfect for a Festive Family Feast


Wazzup Pilipinas!
 

Do you know what first came into my mind when I first set foot inside this new restaurant along Tomas Morato? The Tardis - that time machine and spacecraft shaped like an ordinary Police box to make it inconspicuous from everyone else. The Tardis is operated by a Time Lord known to many as Doctor Who in the popular British science fiction television program similarly named after its lead character. Just like the Tardis in the Doctor Who show TV show, the interior of the Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall is very much larger than its exterior - that is if you entered through their Tomas Morato entrance. Not everyone would immediately notice that they have two other bigger entrances at the left and right sides along the streets of Scout De Guia and Scout Gandia.

Your friendly neighborhood Pambansang Blogger ng Pilipinas was gawking in amazement after I've realized I've just been deceived by its humble facade along Tomas Morato. I really thought it was just another small fast-food restaurant since it's Tomas Morato entrance is situated in the middle of two other fast-food joints. My first impression was soon replaced by an overwhelming surprise after realizing Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall was a two-level restaurant that's really almost as big as a palace.

There are not much restaurants in the country that can offer a huge banquet hall for a festive celebration. What I like about Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall is that, aside from the functions rooms that you can find at the second floor, the ground floor was designed to accommodate huge or smaller gatherings since they have installed means to divide certain portions of the area into smaller function rooms. Thus many activities like birthday parties, wedding receptions, private meetings, press conferences, product launches, or other corporate functions can be done all at the same time.


The Tomas Morato entrance was really quite a surprise
Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall had a grand opening last February 2. We got there early so we actually witnessed a staff burning some papers representing money at their front entrance. They say it was an offering supposed to bring in more money to the business. But before that ritual, they had on one table an offering of chicken, fish, a slab of pork, prosperity bread, plus wine and a bundle of paper money, besides a pair of lit red candles, as a sort of offering.

We were told that they would be having a ribbon cutting and dragon dance in the afternoon but many of us could not stay to wait for it since we have activities scheduled for that day.

The front entrance along Scout De Guia is bigger
A traditional or common practice of burning paper symbolizing money as an offering
Offering of fish, chicken, and a slab of pork, prosperity bread, wine and paper money
Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall traces its roots to Wah Yuen (Chinese Garden), a small noodle and dimsum shop across the Love Bus station in Escolta during the late 70s operated by the Chua family's patriarch who was a young cook from Hong Kong during those times. Chua Kun (Henry Chua) and his passion for good food and excellent cooking established the shop with the dream of sharing authentic Chinese food to the people of Manila.

This food spot quickly became popular with both the Chinese and Filipino community all over Manila, and that was the start of a history of many sumptuous food preparations as the Chua family continued to explore the restaurant business getting involved with restaurants like the Mandarin Palace Seafood and Shabu-Shabu Restaurant located at Paranaque, and now the Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall, that are managed by the Chua siblings, namely Tadene and Chris, respectively.

Their father remains to be the head chef of both restaurants that guide the other chefs and kitchen crew on the preparation of the same quality dishes.

The ground floor is HUGE and I'm not exaggerating. The total capacity of the entire restaurant reaches up to more than 700 individuals.

This place is really ideal for a grand celebration where you can openly see everyone in attendance

An elegant table setup adorns every table

This is where you can pick your seafood creatures (choices of lobster, lapu-lapu, king fish, suahe, clmas, bamboo shell, et al.) while they are still swimming in their respective aquariums. This guarantees its fresh and did not came form the freezer.

Several live sea-foods to choose from that are ready for cooking
We were early so they still don't have the Peking ducks and other roasted specialties on display
Peking Ducks all lined up just waiting to be ordered by the customers

Just one of the many functions rooms that can still be divided into two for more intimate events

Another function room available at the ground floor

This is coming from the Toma Morato entrance where tables meant for Shabu-Shabu are lined up along a hall way leading to the main banquet hall.



Another mid-sized function hall for events and gatherings

Function room may contain their individual sound and video system
To cite another comparison, the floor area of the Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall is only the tip of the iceberg. Wait until they've served you some of their specialties among the many fine dishes in their menu.

Since the restaurant owners are not new in the restaurant business as they have several decades of food artisanship experience, you'll surely be having the time of your life enjoying their culinary masterpieces. They have a wide selection of Asian meals that are not only mouth-watering, but also priced reasonably. You'll soon be feasting on a gastronomic adventure that will linger in taste and memory for a long time.

Starting our dining experience with a Dimsum Galore
Our first set of meal was the various dim sum like hakaw, siomai, shark's fin dumpling, Japanese siomai, spare ribs, beef balls, chicken feet, bean curd roll, and xiao long pao. Every one had a distinctive taste worthy of praise. When they served these dishes to us, I immediately remembered my dining experience at the Mandarin Palace in Paranaque where they also serve similar choices as starters. They had a steam cart where every dimsum was showcased and customers get to choose from among the many varieties. They were all so good that we had to order take-outs of every kind including the chicken feet.

It was only during this visit at the Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall that I learned that they are the same people involved in the Mandarin Palace Seafood and Shabu-Shabu Restaurant. No wonder the same quality in both presentation and taste was noticeable.

We were given a challenge on the proper way toe at the Xiao Long Pao but I guess we were just too used to eating the fast-food way using spoon and fork that that we couldn't really managed to do it the slower but proper way.

My favorite among the dim sums were still the siomai and dumplings dipped in chili or soy sauce with calamansi (the tradional way for Filipinos) or eaten as is. I actually prefer to eat them as is so I can relish the actual taste and not rely on the sauces.

Hakaw or Shrimp Dumplings ( P 138)

Shark's fin Dumpling (P 118)

Japanese Crab Stick Siomai (P 118)

Siao Long Pao (P 138)

Pork with Shrimp Siomai (P 118)

Spare Ribs (P 118)

Beef Balls (P 98)

Chicken Feet (P 118)

Bean Curd Rolls (P 98)
Next set of meals were the main dishes composed of Lapu-lapu in Thai Sauce, Oysters in XO Sauce, Prawn Tempura, Roasted Duck with Seaweed, Suckling Pig with Maki, and Suahe Fried Rice. If you're going to ask me what's my favorite, it would be the Oysters in XO Sauce. I could eat that dish all day and I won't get tired or bored with its flavorful taste using their own concocted XO Sauce. Next would be the Lapu-lapu with Thai Sauce where sweet strips of mango mixed with other ingredients brought out a sensational mix of flavors. The crispiness of the skins of both the roasted duck and suckling pig were to die for. If I was not watching out for my diet, I would have eaten a lot of these two dishes. The Suahe Fried Rice and Prawn Tempura both passed in the Foodie score sheet. I guess they served us their primary specialties making each one of these dishes now part of our favorite list. It was a festive line-up of top dishes that should be part of your order every time you visit Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall.

A festive line up of main dishes
  
Lapu-Lapu (Grouper) in Thai Sauce (P 1500 per kilo)


Deep Fried Oysters with XO sauce (P 300 - small, P 450 - Medium, P 600 - Large)

Prawn Tempura (P 350)

Roasted Duck with Seaweed (P 500 - 1/4, P 1000 - 1/2, P2,000 - whole)

Suahe Fried Rice (P 250  Small, P 375 - Medium, P 500 - Large)

Suckling Pig (P450 - Small, P 1500 -1/4, P 3000 - 1/2, 5500 - whole)

Dessert time
Desserts would be the last set of meals to complete our dining experience at Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall. We had Coffee Jelly, Ube Jelly and Butchi. I've had Butchi served in every Chinese Restaurant I've visited, but it was the first time I've been served with jelly desserts, in coffee and ube flavors.

Though a few restaurants have already modified their Butchi (even of assorted flavors like ube or pandan), the restaurant remains loyal with its traditional monggo flavored Butchi that is satisfying enough to please the taste buds.

You'll definitely have second servings of both jelly varieties since they were not so sweet but I preferred the ube than the coffee jelly. I must have eaten around three pieces of the ube jelly. The owner said they also have an almond flavor, so that would be worth trying on my next visit to the restaurant.

Coffee Jelly

Ube Jelly

Butchi

A variety of shakes to refresh and cool
Let's talk about their drinks this time. We were more attracted to trying out their shakes since they have intriguing choices that combines chocolate with your favorite fruit like mango or banana. My colleagues ordered the Banana Chocolate, Mango Chocolate and Oreo Frappe Shake. I ordered for the Kiwi Shake since its not everyday I get to try it. Later, I requested for the Kiwi Mango Shake since I wanted to see how the Kiwi would taste with my long-time favorite Mango fruit. I was not disappointed with my choices. The blends of both Kiwi Mango and Kiwi alone were superbly smooth and just right in taste. I guess the others also enjoyed their drinks since they drank them all up.

Banana Chocolate (P 120)

Kiwi Mango Shake (P 90)

Mango Chocolate Shake (P 120)

Oreo Chocolate Shake (P 150)

While dining at this restaurant, you may even get a surprise visit from the head chef himself, no other than Henry Chua, as he is known to sometimes chat with the customers of the restaurant especially if you frequent the place. He might even come up with a personalized dish outside the regular menu made specifically for you based on your preferences or request.

His wife, Betty Chua, may be somewhere near as well. She seems to be really approachable since she is often seen smiling. Chris said his father is hands-on with the business - something that all serious business owners should be practicing if they want the best for their business.

Chris Chua would also be around since he is managing the restaurant. It's nice to know he is also fond of traveling aside from his knowledge of the food business. You'll get to learn more about the different kinds of food all over the country, and the world, when you travel and get to personally experience the authentic taste of the many international dishes available all over. 

Photo ops together with the Chua family and friends


As my final words, just remember that the fondest memories are made when gathered intimately around the table. It is therefore highly recommended for every family (or friends and colleagues) to spend quality time with each other, while seated together enjoying a sumptuous meal. Every gathering, may it be big or small, deserves a festive feast fit for a king, which you can find at the Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall.


Know more about the restaurant from their official Facebook page: http://www.Facebook.com/OrientalPalace.ph

Oriental Palace Restaurant and Banquet Hall
Address: 148 Tomas Morato Avenue corner Scout Gandia St., corner Scout de Guia  St. Brgy Laging Handa, Quezon City.
Telephone Number: (02) 3740693, (02) 3740653
Fax No: (02) 3740868
E-mail: orientalpalaceph@gmail.com

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2 comments:

  1. What a memorable place. Can't wait to get back there again. :) Kiong Hee Huat Tsai Ross.

    ReplyDelete
  2. A few couples hold their gathering here after the wedding to make it increasingly advantageous to their visitors. banquet halls

    ReplyDelete

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